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Tactics Institute Global Security Bulletin 7

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There are over 9.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with over 470,000 deaths.

Latin America has become a particularly affected region, with Chile saying it has entered a “critical situation” fearing it could suffer up to 70,000 deaths. Across the region, indigenous groups remain particularly vulnerable.

Despite fears of a second wave, major European economies continue to ease lockdown restrictions.

 

Global Security Timeline

Friday 12th June

The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases passes 7.5 million; the death toll tops 420,000. With 300,000 confirmed cases, India passes surpassed Britain as the world’s fourth most affected country, with health authorities warning India could soon run out of hospital beds. The United States, Brazil and Russia have the highest coronavirus rates.

In Brazil, over 802,000 cases have been reported with over 40,000 deaths. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a coronavirus denier.

In poorer economies, the pandemic is also hitting infrastructure. In Guatemala, confirmed coronavirus cases passed 8,500 with over 300 deaths and medical staff warning that hospitals are on the brink of collapse

Sunday 14th June

France announces acceleration in lifting COVID restrictions, including allowing cafes and restaurants nationwide to fully reopen starting today.

Monday 15th June

The University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts a second coronavirus wave in the US in September, estimating that the death toll will rise to 170,000 by October.

The director of the Harvard Global Health Institute predicts another 100,000 people will die of the coronavirus in the US by September.

UK non-essential retail shops begin reopening and people as part of the country’s easing of measures.

Tuesday 16th June

 

US Departments of Commerce, Energy, Justice and Homeland Security reinterpret cold war era treaty to enable drone sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others, from summer 2020.

North Korea blows up an inter-Korean liaison office, following a series of threats to South Korea. Pyongyang also warned that it could enter the Demilitarised Zone between the two Koreas. Defectors to the South have allegedly been sending propaganda back to the North. South Korean unification minister offers to resign.

Wednesday 17th June

Scientists in UK say new tests have shown a widely used steroid called dexamethasone can greatly reduce death rates among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients. WHO calls findings “great news.”

UNHRC debates racism and police brutality in the US, following a proposal by a group of African countries led by Burkina Faso. The nations recently expressed alarm over “recent incidents of police brutality against peaceful demonstrators defending the rights of Africans and of people of African descent.”

US COVID death toll is at nearly 117,000, more than the number of Americans killed during World War I.

China’s capital, Beijing, closes schools again and cancels thousands of flights after a new COVID outbreak. 106 Beijing residents test positive in one week, with the cases linked to a major food market.

Australian authorities announce the country’s borders will probably remain closed until 2021.

At least 20 Indian troops die in a border clash with Chinese soldiers in the Himalayas, the first fatal encounter between the two armies in 45 years. China accused the Indian troops of crossing the disputed border, but India rejected the claim.

Thursday 18th June

Brazil is recording over 30,000 new cases daily, its official death toll now over 46,000, presumed to be an underestimate. University of Washington School of Medicine predicts Brazil will have highest death toll from COVID-19 by July.

In Lima, Peru, police beat back healthcare workers protesting their lack of PPE. Peru has recorded over 7,000 coronavirus deaths from over 250,000 confirmed cases.

50 human rights experts at the UN condemn Israel’s plan to annex 30% of the occupied West Bank, describing it as a “vision of a 21st-century apartheid.”

Friday 19th June

Global coronavirus death toll passes 450,000; 77 nations have reported a growth in new cases over the past two weeks.

The Vatican urges Catholics to divest from fossil fuel companies and arms manufacturers. The call follows a joint pledge issued in May by a group of 42 Methodist, Anglican, Quaker, Buddhist and Catholic organisations to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Saturday 20th June

World Refugee Day. UN: nearly 80 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced, amounting to around 1% of humanity, doubling over the past decade, with numbers swelled by displacement from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. Palestine remains the world’s largest and longest-running refugee crisis despite decades of UN resolutions and an international consensus on ending their plight.

President Donald Trump says he’s reducing the number of US troops in Germany , citing inadequate German defence spending and its support for a pipeline project with Russia: “We’re supposed to protect Germany from Russia, but Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for energy coming from a pipeline, brand new pipeline,” referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, owned by Gazprom PJSC.

President Trump recalled urging Chancellor Merkel to meet the 2% target for NATO members. In November, German defence minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said that the country wouldn’t meet the NATO benchmark until 2031 due to its lack of military personnel.

Sunday 21st June

WHO: “The world is in a new and dangerous phase” of the pandemic. Over 183,000 new cases are reported around the world, the biggest single-day increase to date. Brazil passes 1 million cases, has the highest daily total, followed by the US and India.

Monday 22nd June

South Korea says it has entered a “second wave” that is expected to last for months.

Tuesday 23rd June

The UN Human Rights Council is to send a fact-finding mission to Libya to investigate torture, mass killings and other human rights abuses committed by all sides in the ongoing civil conflict. The International Criminal Court has opened a probe into 11 mass graves recently discovered Libya’s Tarhana area after its liberation from forces loyal to UAE and France-backed Commander Khalifa Haftar. For more on Libya, read Tactics Institute’s recent analysis here.

Southern separatist forces in Yemen reportedly reach ceasefire with Saudi-backed government two months after the separatists, backed by the UAE, declared self-rule in the port city of Aden. The two factions had been on the same side in the war against Houthi rebels.

Climate – it is announced that temperatures in Siberia in the Arctic Circle have gone above 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time in recorded history. The average temperature in the Arctic for June is 68 degrees Fahrenheit.